The Pittsburgh Steelers are a perennial preseason Super Bowl contender, but the last 12 seasons have resulted in only two trips to the big game, with their last appearance coming back in 2010. Those 12 years have been led by coach Mike Tomlin, the man who became the youngest head coach to win a Super Bowl at age 36 back in 2008.
Since Tomlin took over in the Steel City, Pittsburgh is 116-60 during the regular season, but are only 8-7 in the playoffs -- Pittsburgh was bounced in their first game four times, with three of those losses coming at home. Tomlin has taken on criticism that his teams don't have a killer instinct late in the year, but no criticism is louder than that of NFL Hall of Famer Terry Bradshaw.
The four-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback became the face of the Pittsburgh Steelers' dynasty during the 1970s. Known as one of the league's original "Gunslingers," Bradshaw finished his career with 212 touchdown passes and 210 interceptions.
Bradshaw was all or nothing during his playing days, but it led him to a Hall of Fame career, and it earned him the right to critique anything and everything he'd like when it comes to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The NFL's Most Valuable Player in 1978 was asked about the Steelers during an interview on 97.3 the Fan in San Diego, and he went right at Mike Tomlin, something he's done numerous times before.
"I played for a tough sucker, and I was afraid of him, and we played our ass off for him because we feared him," Bradshaw said of his former Hall of Fame head coach Chuck Noll. "I don't see that with this guy. He's chest bumping and all that."
Bradshaw previously called Tomlin a "great cheerleader guy" rather than a football coach, and the 70-year-old isn't backing down from that statement.
"I'm the head of the corporation, I'm the CEO, I'm the chairman of the board, I'm talking to the stockholders telling them here's how we're gonna do at the end of the quarter. I'm selling this thing, and I'm not delivering the goods, which is championships. You've got to face the criticism. I'm sorry, but he's not my kind of coach. I've said it before, I'll say it again."
Tomlin's average postseason performances as the Steelers' head coach are only magnified entering a season where Pittsburgh has the fourth-best odds to win Super Bowl 53.
Bradshaw's comments come at time when Pittsburgh is already in a world of controversy, as critics continue to question quarterback Ben Roethlisberger's long-term commitment to the team, whether Tomlin's defense can ever perform at a high level again, and when running back Le'Veon Bell will return to the team and end his holdout for the second year in a row.
The Steelers Hall of Fame quarterback went on to criticize the firing of offensive coordinator Todd Haley, and the retention of defensive coordinator Keith Butler, following Pittsburgh's loss 45-42 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars in last season's AFC playoffs.
For Bradshaw, who has been an analyst and co-host on FOX NFL Sunday since 1994, Pittsburgh is underperforming as a team, and that falls on the head coach.
"Mike Tomlin is winning football games, but at the same time, Super Bowls are disappearing, and that's my criticism," Bradshaw said. "How can you have this great offense and you being a defensive guy, and I think that football team should have been in another Super Bowl or two."
Pittsburgh opens their 2018 season on the road against the Cleveland Browns, and you can bet Terry Bradshaw will be watching and waiting to criticize every move that Mike Tomlin makes.
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